I’m not going to lie. I really don’t have a clue what to write about today. I spent much of last week in Rhode Island for a wedding and, while extremely fun, it was also extremely taxing. During this time my computer died and I had to buy a new one, a cost that I could only afford because I couldn’t afford not to have a good computer (being an online worker) more than I couldn’t afford to pay for a new computer. I returned hoping to rest only to be faced by a series of obstacles to overcome in getting my new computer set up (why do they put so much adware on new laptops?) before I could get any real use out of it (p.s. Windows 8 really does suck). On top of this I’ve had to get back to work, do orientation for seminary, attempt to register for classes (which isn’t going so well), find a new office chair that doesn’t cost much money (I wound up going with an exercise ball… I may regret this), and deal with the general sundries of life (laundry, relationships, food, hydration, finances, etc). On top of this, the school’s system is trying to tell me that I can’t register for one of the classes that I have to take, which of course makes it very difficult to complete my degree program. In the midst of all of this, I’m afraid that I haven’t really given sufficient thought to a pithy and awesome post that I can provide for all of you fine readers.
That being said, I’ve written before about doing hard things and dealing with difficult situations. We all face hard times, whether these are emotionally trying circumstances, financial difficulties, pressures on time, energy, physical health, or all of the above. The past couple of weeks have been pretty thoroughly difficult financially (though I did have some significant help from an unexpected source), and on time, energy, and general mental well-being. Sometimes, these wind up being the times that are worth the most to us. These are times that teach us strength, that stretch us, force us to grow, and to mature. These are the times that, ultimately, make us worth-while people instead of egotistical, spoiled, simpering, entitled little brats (you have no idea how much I want to use a stronger word here) who make everyone else’s lives more difficult than they actually need to be. There are plenty of these people in the world, so anything that reduces their numbers (in a morally acceptable way of course) is something that I will applaud. Honestly, I’ve repeatedly found that the most difficult times in my own life and, in retrospect, some of the times that I most value.
Now, please don’t think that I’m saying that we all need to go out and try to find difficult situations. Masochism is unhealthy and it should obviously be avoided. However, I do think that we can see that when difficult or painful situations do come into our lives, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We can, and often should, view them as a blessing. This is why, philosophically, I have always rejected every form of hedonism. The idea that pleasure=good and pain=bad is simply and thoroughly false, and there are thousands of examples that support it as false.
This is as true for writing as it is for life. We all go through struggles as writers, some of us struggle more than others and we all struggle with different things. However, we all struggle. However, those struggles are what make us better writers. If you’ve never struggled with anything, then your writing has never improved. Some people are, obviously, naturally better writers than others. However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement in their writing. It simply means that they have a different set of struggles that take place at a higher level, and will make them even better writers. However, I am convinced that in writing and in life our purpose is to always be better. To be better people, better at our jobs, better writers, better friends, better parents, etc. We must always strive to be better than we already are.